In a statement released on April 24, 2014, Baker Hughes, the third largest oilfield services provider, announced that it “believes it is possible to disclose 100% of the chemical ingredients we use in hydraulic fracturing fluids without compromising our formulations – a balance that increases public trust while encouraging commercial innovation. Where accepted by our customers and relevant governmental authorities, Baker Hughes is implementing a new format that achieves this goal, providing complete lists of the products and chemical ingredients used.”
The new disclosure policy may take several months to fully implement, according to a Baker Hughes spokesperson, because the company is still negotiating with its suppliers and customers and updating its system.
Baker Hughes’ disclosures would be made through FracFocus.org, which was created for companies to voluntarily disclose their hydraulic fracturing fluid contents. The website is managed by the Groundwater Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and is funded by the industry and the U.S. Energy Department. FracFocus.org has been criticized as having loose reporting standards, allowing companies to avoid disclosure by claiming trade secrets. In March 2014, a U.S. Energy Department task force report analyzed FracFocus’ operating and reporting procedures and recommended full disclosure of all known constituents added to fracturing fluid with very few exemptions.
This post was written by Barclay Nicholson (email@example.com or 713.651.3662) from Norton Rose Fulbright's Energy Practice Group.